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A Letter to the Teenage Parent

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To the Teenage Mom,

I know that finding out that you are pregnant can be so scary! How do you tell your parents? How do could you have let this happen? How will you raise the child? I know! I have been there and done that. If I could sit and have a chat with my teenage self after I found out that I was pregnant, I would say– own up to your responsibility, but remember to keep the respect for parents. Be more kind towards parents as they find out and not aggressive, but it does hurt them to see us travel down this road. Even though you think your world is ending, it’s not, it’s just beginning. Just because you are a Teenage Mom, maybe your life isn’t going as planned, but it’s okay to not have the same ending as you planned. Don’t get too caught up in “making things work” with your baby’s daddy if things aren’t going as planned. I used to beat myself up because neither of my oldest two children had their dad…we didn’t have the family I thought at the time we should have. If it doesn’t work with your baby’s father, don’t ever use the baby as a weapon. Never let your child hear you bad mouth their father. Respect them too–even if they aren’t doing right by the baby.  Give them the opportunity to know their father if their father’s are willing.  You can still be young, but be smart and remember that you are a role model for your child. Don’t drop your kids on other people. I know we still want freedom, but remember to be responsible. Don’t worry about what people say about you. They don’t know your situation and the people that talk worse about others are those who are the most miserable. Let your child know how much you love them. I know the “easy” way out may cross your mind, but no decision about your pregnancy is ever easy–the quicker you realize, the better off you will be. I don’t think women should abort their babies just because they don’t want them. If abortion has crossed your mind, be sure to pray about it and think of all the women who would die to be in your shoes right now. A baby isn’t a mistake–you’re not a mistake. Whatever problems you are facing will eventually go away. You will and can be such a great mom! 🙂

To the Teenage Dad,

Teenage Dads get such a bad rep–they really do. I know a lot of men say that they will take care of their babies, and I really think they have good intentions of it, but seriously, if you get a girl pregnant, take care of your responsibilities. I know many men who encourage abortion, don’t ever use the line “I can’t take care of that baby, get an abortion.” Never encourage abortion. I don’t care how hard the situation may seem! If you encourage anything, encourage making an adoption plan! I can think of countless babies that have never met or known their fathers–or they have fathers that want to be a father when it’s convenient for them. Make a vow to yourself and your child that this will not be you. If it doesn’t work out with the baby’s mom, don’t let that keep you from your child. Support your child always, and always know that even after they are 18, they will still need their Daddy. I know it can be easier said than done, but respect your child’s mother and never let that child hear you say a cross word about their mother. If you have to work at McDonald’s–get a job and support that baby! I don’t care if your whole paycheck goes to taking care of that baby! If you get visitation rights, take advantage of them! If you don’t get visitation rights, fight for them! Your child NEEDS you! If you don’t get visitation rights because of “how you are” then realize that it’s not ALL about YOU!  So many men walk around with nice shoes and the latest game systems, but remember it isn’t about you anymore. Respect your baby’s mother’s parents. They are hurt and let down–end the end remember it’s not all about you, even though they may put it like it is. Put your baby first. I know dad’s don’t have all the responsibility of carrying, delivering and caring for the baby, but try to be a part of every bit of it. You can and will be a good father! Don’t accept anything less than being a good father!

Sexting- Talk About IT With Your Kids!

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I don’t fully understand why parents get so weird about talking to their child about sex. It is something of this world and they should know about it! I was a teenage parent, and I let my children and stepchildren know how hard it was and how I got there! I tell them that I hope that they don’t take the same path that I did. But, since I was a teenager, there is a popular thing that has surfaced between tweens (yes 11 and 12 year olds too) and teenagers…..SEXTING!
Most parents can put two and two together and figure out what sexting is. Most of it starts out as harmless texting, then comes pictures and then comes sexting! A lot of kids these days are pressured into this. Nothing has changed since you and I were teenagers. They still pull the, “If you love me you will send me a picture..” “You don’t even have to have your face in the picture…” “I will delete it once you send it..” “Nobody will see it but me..” Can you see where I’m going?
So, why is it important to talk to your tweens/teens about sexting and why it is inappropriate, disrespectful, and not classy? Teenagers should know limits. I can’t say this enough. Have limits for your children, especially on the phones! If your child has a phone and has any interest in the opposite sex, it’s time to have the up-to-date birds and bees talk.
How to be an active parent:
Talk to your son/daughter- I can not say it enough about how important it is to have a close relationship with your children! Talk to them about respecting the opposite sex! If you have a daughter, teach her to value her body and demand respect when it comes to her body. Teach her the meaning of having value and respect for her body. If you have a son, teach him how to respect himself. Often boys grow up thinking their privates are the greatest thing ever! Make sure your son doesn’t grow up with this mentality! If you don’t have serious conversations about this particular topic, your son might have this mentality!! It’s good to talk to your children about the dangers or sexting and how it can ruin their reputation!
Dads need to be involved- Having a male figure in your child’s life that is actively involved is crucial! Especially during the times that they are teenagers! Girls need a male role model to be in their lives to show them how men should treat women. Boy should have a male role model so they will know how to treat women. Girl’s should never be downgraded by being asked for a nude or very private picture. Men can be good at teaching both guys and girls this!
Monitor your children- I know some people might disagree with me, but children need limits! Check up on your child! If you ever suspect your child is going through anything different in their lives, or if your child has a boyfriend/girlfriend, it is always good to monitor their social media accounts and text messages!
Lord, we ask you to teach us how to parent during this rough time in our child’s life. It seems like daily they are faced with “the new thing.” Help us and guide us on how to be the best parents that we can be. Lord, we ask you to guide our children and the decisions that they make. Help them and give them strength and wisdom during their times where they feel peer pressure.
Until next time…be encouraged!!!

Cyber Bullying-Parent’s Guide

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I wanted to touch on this subject for parents because whether we realize it or not, cyber bullying is happening all around us. Research shows that many parents don’t even realize that their child is being bullied or is being a bully until it is too late.

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I had a friend recently share with my about her daughter being cyber bullied for months and she had absolutely no clue about it. She found out because her daughter had left her phone in the car and her mom heard it continuously vibrating. She picked up her daughter’s phone only to see so many texts and Facebook notifications that were saying awful things about her daughter. Some of the Facebook messages were so harsh, that she felt that she needed to call in to work and go get her daughter immediately. After getting the other girl’s parents involved, to my friend’s surprise, they knew nothing about it either. One of the girl’s was even a teacher’s daughter and her mother taught at the high school and she still had no clue her daughter was being a bully right under her nose!

I think that bullying is awful. I was somewhat bullied in school and this was before social media and text messaging! In my post from yesterday, I talked apps that your child may have on their phone and some listed are used for cyber bullying as well.
So, how can parents know if their child is being cyber bullied or being a cyber bully? How can we ensure that our child will not be a bully?
Have a relationship with your child- So many parents these days have no clue what their children are doing because they are letting technology be the babysitter! You may say, “Well, my child doesn’t want to hang out with me!” Or, “I don’t have money to spend on my child to take them to do anything!” Find a way to gain a steady relationship with your children. Make time to have conversations with them DAILY. Know what is going on in their lives. As they get older, yes, they will go through phases, but be there for them!
Monitor your child’s technology devices- Some parents may not agree with this and think that that is “their private stuff.” Children do need privacy, I agree with that. That is why our bathroom and their bedroom’s have doors. When it comes to a world in the palm of their hands, then it becomes my business! I do check my children’s phones. I am not saying that I am a stalker and check it daily, but I do check it. As a matter of fact, I have settings on their phones to let me know what apps they are downloading from the app store. I don’t sit there and read their texts word for word, but I glance through it. Know what your child is doing on these technology devices!!
Have limits for your child- This goes back to letting your child’s babysitter be the technology devices and television. I am not saying all phones and televisions are bad, but they can be. If we just allow our children to come home, get on their phones or in the television and have very little or no communication with the rest of the family, then we are giving our children too much freedom! Set time limits for your children. Consider a “technology free” day and do something outside! I am not saying that you should take away the deviced, but have time limits. It’s not healthy allowing your children to stay on their phones and in the television 90% of the time they are home.
Talk to you children about bullying- It is always a good idea to teach your children young about bullying. I’d say when they start stealing all the toys and not sharing when they are 2 years old is a good time. But, really, it’s never too early to start teaching your children about being a bully. Let them know how it can really hurt someone. If you are talking to your teenager about bullying, let them know that sometimes people even commit suicide because they are bullied so much. We also encourage our children to stick up for those that are being bullied, and if they don’t feel like they can stick up for the child, then they need to tell someone. Encourage your child.
Teach your child to serve- I will be doing a blog post at a later date on teaching children how to serve and be there for others. It is good to teach your child to hold the door for someone with their hands full. It is good to teach your child to be polite and respect others around them. It is important to teach your child about other children with disabilities and how hard it is for them. Teach your child to be polite!
These are just some of the things that I suggest. If you see any changes in your child, investigate it and question them about it. They may or may not be being bullied. But that goes back to you having a good, steady relationship with your child. Don’t be scared to ask them questions. And don’t be scared to upset your child! You are the parent and the authority and they need to know what authority is for when we get to the real world!
Lord, we know it’s difficult being a parent, but it’s not impossible. Help us and show us how to be a better parents as we go! Help those that are being bullied. And whatever is being done behind our backs, may it be brought to light so that we may be aware of it. Help us to teach our children how to be kind, courteous children to others. Help us to teach them what it means to serve others.
Until next time…be encouraged!

Sexting! What Parents Need to Know!

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I don’t fully understand why parents get so weird about talking to their child about sex. It is something of this world and they should know about it! I was a teenage parent, and I let my children and stepchildren know how hard it was and how I got there! I tell them that I hope that they don’t take the same path that I did. But, since I was a teenager, there is a popular thing that has surfaced between tweens (yes 11 and 12 year olds too) and teenagers…..SEXTING!
Most parents can put two and two together and figure out what sexting is. Most of it starts out as harmless texting, then comes pictures and then comes sexting! A lot of kids these days are pressured into this. Nothing has changed since you and I were teenagers. They still pull the, “If you love me you will send me a picture..” “You don’t even have to have your face in the picture…” “I will delete it once you send it..” “Nobody will see it but me..” Can you see where I’m going?
So, why is it important to talk to your tweens/teens about sexting and why it is inappropriate, disrespectful, and unclassy? Teenagers should know limits. I can’t say this enough. Have limits for your children, especially on the phones! If your child has a phone and has any interest in the opposite sex, it’s time to have the up-to-date birds and bees talk.
How to be an active parent:
Talk to your son/daughter- I can not say it enough about how important it is to have a close relationship with your children! Talk to them about respecting the opposite sex! If you have a daughter, teach her to value her body and demand respect when it comes to her body. Teach her the meaning of having value and respect for her body. If you have a son, teach him how to respect himself. Often boys grow up thinking their privates are the greatest thing ever! Make sure your son doesn’t grow up with this mentality! If you don’t have serious conversations about this particular topic, your son might have this mentality!! It’s good to talk to your children about the dangers or sexting and how it can ruin their reputation!
Dads need to be involved- Having a male figure in your child’s life that is actively involved is crucial! Especially during the times that they are teenagers! Girls need a male role model to be in their lives to show tem how men should treat women. Boy should have a male role model so they will know how to treat women. Girl’s should never be downgraded by being asked for a nude or very private picture. Men can be good at teaching both guys and girls this!
Monitor your children- I know some people might disagree with me, but children need limits! Check up on your child! If you ever suspect your child is going through anything different in their lives, or if your child has a boyfriend/girlfriend, it is always good to monitor their social media accounts and text messages!
Lord, we ask you to teach us how to parent during this rough time in our child’s life. It seems like daily they are faced with “the new thing.” Help us and guide us on how to be the best parents that we can be. Lord, we ask you to guide our children and the decisions that they make. Help them and give them strength and wisdom during their times where they feel peer pressure.
Until next time…be encouraged!!!

Watch Me Whip! Watch Me NaeNae! Yes I DID!-

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Okay, so my older children have came home doing “the whip” and “the naenae.” I had no clue what the heck they were talking about! I try to listen to not only the Christian music, but music that my children like too! But, I had never heard of no naenae on the radio!

All evening, my kids, even the youngest is now singing, “whipping and naenae.” We were standing in line at the grocery store and my oldest kids were acting out for the cashier and making her laugh when one of them starting whipping and naenae in the checkout line! By this time, the teenage cashier was laughing and saying, “I can’t believe you know that song!” I immediately asked her if that was a bad song! She then told me that she didn’t think it was!
We got into the car, and I immediately started looking up the lyrics! Fortunately, the lyrics weren’t bad, but incredibly stupid. Ha! I might have made a “deal” with my kids that if they weren’t bad, I would learn to whip and naenae. I still haven’t got it down! HAHA!

My point for this post is not only to show how incredibly crazy our life is too, but to let parents know it’s okay to check lyrics of a song. If that song would have been bad (like they have been before!) I would have asked them questions like, if if they knew it was bad, if that’s the kind of music they think they should be listening to, and why they like the song. It’s okay to check up on your children. There are so many awful songs in this world that contain cussing, drugs, sex and violence and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my children being influenced by vulgar music. I know that I can’t help what my kids listen to all the time, but hopefully, I would want to believe that my children would stand up for what is right if they knew the song was that bad.

Lord, parenting is crazy sometimes, but thank you for making me a parent! Thank you for my children and thank you for helping me to parent my children! While I’m not with my children, help them make smart decisions about their lives. Thank you for guiding us while parenting. And, if you could, Lord, please help me with my dance skills! I used to think I was something else, now I just look crazy! :)))

Until next time…..be encouraged!!!!!

It Doesn’t Require THAT Reaction

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Sometimes, kids can be pushy and they can be demanding and they can be irritating. I can recall a time with my children, the other children were running through the store trying to play chase, the younger ones were arguing each other, I was trying to get the 10 things on my grocery list without pulling my hair! We managed to get out of the store and I was furious at these kids and let them have it as soon as we got to the car!
Now, I might have yelled or grounded the kids too long, and even questioned myself, “Should I really have went that far?” There was one time, one of my children was carrying their cereal and didn’t drink their milk (when I had already told them they needed to) and spilled the milk all over my freshly mopped kitchen floor! “I told you you needed to drink your milk!” “Why were you up if you weren’t done!?” “I JUST mopped and you’ve messed up the house and put more work on me!”  “I wish you would just get away for the rest of the day so this house could just stay cleaned for more than 5 seconds!!!” It might not sound as bad, but it sure hurt my child’s feelings.
I was reading an article the other day that said, “It takes 5 minutes to clean up the spilled milk but it takes forever for them to get the hurtful words out of their minds.” It really struck me then…and this has been years sine the spilled milk in the kitchen had happened. But this got me thinking, how many times have me or my husband reacted and it’s cut our children deep, but the problem could have been solved in a couple of minutes. Yes, kids will make messes. Yes, kids will make mistakes. I am not trying to say kids shouldn’t be corrected or disciplined, but sometimes we let the weight of the world come out on our children.

Yesterday, I was talking about how parents react poorly over their children not doing “best” in sports events. We tend to do the same during grades. Yes, we want our children to do their best and make good grades, but if they aren’t, then why aren’t they?

My point is, we don’t need to belittle our or to make them feel like a moron in order to get our point across. Yes, we are the adults, and sometimes we overstep our boundaries just a tad bit when we are the authority.

Lord, I pray over relationships with parents and their children. I pray that you will show parents the correct way to get to their children and that their children will understand. I pray for the children that have had parents that have been too rough while parenting, I pray that they can heal from the past and the things their parents have told them. I have been guilty of being “too hard” on my children, may they forgive me for that. I pray for guidance while parenting.
Until next time….be encouraged!!!